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Latitude: 53.2458 / 53°14'44"N
Longitude: -3.873 / 3°52'22"W
OS Eastings: 275118
OS Northings: 373726
OS Grid: SH751737
Mapcode National: GBR 1ZDX.95
Mapcode Global: WH545.GPY1
Plus Code: 9C5R64WG+8R
Entry Name: St Celynin's Old Church
Listing Date: 13 October 1966
Last Amended: 28 December 1995
Source ID: 3193
Building Class: Religious, Ritual and Funerary
Location: Located on a high plateau in the rocky uplands at the W extremity of the community, near the Cerrig-y-Ddinas hillfort and some 3km W of Henryd village.
Locality: St Celynin's Old Church
Traditional County: Caernarfonshire
Tagged with: Church building
Located on a high plateau in the rocky uplands at the W extremity of the community, near the Cerrig-y-Ddinas hillfort and some 3km W of Henryd village. Accessed via a long and steeply-climbing metalled lane leading from the church, ultimately to Henryd. Set within rubble- walled churchyard which includes, to SW, the remains of Ffynnon Gelynin.
History: Medieval upland parish church on an early site associated with St. Celynin whose well and habitation are traditionally held to be nearby. The present building consists of a continuous nave and chancel with a N chapel at the E end, giving an L-plan; this was formerly balanced by an opposing S chapel, apparently demolished by c.1800. The nave is the earliest section and is generically Medieval, though with a C16, post-Reformation roof. The chancel, although subsequently overlaid, is essentially of second-half C14 date and the southern-most section of the surviving N chapel, together with the (now lost) S chapel were also constructed at this date during a general rejustification of the E end. The N chapel was extended northwards probably in the late C15 or early C16 when it was re-roofed. New windows appear to have been inserted in the later C16, at the time when the present nave roof was constructed. The porch is probably late C15 or early C16.
Exterior: Rubble construction with slate roofs and a rubble gable parapet at the W end supporting a plain, rebuilt bellcote. S Porch with arched-braced collar truss roof (partly reconstructed) and cobbled floor with galleting; stone seats to side walls. Two 2-light wooden-mullioned windows lighting the nave and chancel respectively to the R, both post-Reformation; the latter is inserted in an infilled section of wall formerly opening into the S chapel. Of this, the lower walls remain visible, and reveal surviving plaster internally. The N wall is plain, save a modern rubble buttress. 3-light C15 E window with cusped, arched lights and moulded and returned label. Small, single-light C14 window to E wall of N chapel; ogee head and original ferrementa. To the R of this, a masonry break is visible, relating to the extension of the chapel northwards. Post-Reformation window to N gable as before with original ferrementa.
Interior: Late C15 or early C16 S door frame, arched and of pegged oak; C18 door with re-used earlier wrought-iron strap hinges. 4-bay nave with plain collar-and tie-beam roof trusses, the latter cut off at the wall; trenched purlins. Remains of a W end gallery between bays 1 and 2 with chamfered tie-beam. The cut-down remains of a C15 rood screen survives at the E end of the nave; this was formerly canopied; a single upper (?)-cruck blade remains imbedded at wall-plate level at the NE corner of the nave. Plain Medieval octagonal font on a square base; modern pews. On the N wall a black marble mural tablet to Thomas Parry of Glynn (d.1773); shaped top and base.
Chancel with 7-bay arched-braced collar truss roof, the trusses closely spaced and originally with boarded underside to form a waggon vault. To the L of the E window the remains of a late C14 niche head with double-roll-moulded jamb. The C15 window was cut into the existing E end arrangement which appears to have originally consisted of a 2 or 3-light window flanked by niches. Late C17/early C18 altar rails with barley-twist balusters; contemporary panelled reredos. The pulpit is constructed out of sections of panelled box-pews; old stone-flagged floor. On the E wall, flanking the E window are painted texts in black-letter Gothic script of early C17 date; Welsh creed texts (unusually early) with skull and bones and floral marginal motifs, and the inscription in English: ` Fear God and honour the king.'
The chancel is separated from the N chapel (Capel y Meibion) by an open oak screen; the chapel is stepped up and has a part-beaten earth floor. Fine 2 and-a-half bay arched-braced collar truss roof with pegged, chamfered timbers and 2 tiers of triple-cusped windbraces.
A Medieval church of considerable importance and interest retaining good interior work and unusually early Welsh painted biblical texts.
Reference: RCAHMW, Caernarvonshire, Vol.1, East, 128-9 (443).
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